Thursday, November 21, 2013

Early Review: Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion #1) by Aimee Carter

Release Date: November 26, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: NetGalley
Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook


For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country.

If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked—surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister's niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter.

There's only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed …and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that's not her own, she must decide which path to choose—and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she's only beginning to understand.

Carter's Goddess Test series was sort of hit and miss for me, but I found it mostly enjoyable. So when I got the chance to read this one, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. 
Beyond the can she switch from mythology to dystopia question, I was also a bit concerned about the fact that I've read far too many dystopian novels lately. It seems like about every third novel I read has a post-apocalyptic theme to it. Then again, nobody's holding a gun to my head, now are they? If I'm getting a tad blown out on them, I should stop picking them up, right? Otherwise, I should stop whining about it.
Sorry. I'm having an argument with myself when I should be reviewing this book. 

At first, I thought Pawn was going to be sort of dry and crunchy.
Society has crumbled and been rebuilt...outlandish caste system...lone girl finds herself in trouble with government...RUN! 
But once I got past the first chapter or so, the twists and turns started popping up! And surprisingly there were quite a few times I did the GASP! thing. I just love it when an author manages to smack me upside the head with something that I really had no idea was coming, and Pawn definitely had several of those moments. Couple that with the sci-fiish body double stuff, and it turned into quite the little thrill ride.
I also thought that the caste system was a little more believable than some of the things other authors have come up with. Instead of grouping people on...oh, say personality traits or some such are rated on intelligence, and given your station in life accordingly. If you're super-duper smart you can become a scientist, average brains will score you an office job, and the rest of you dummies will end up sweeping the streets. Supposedly it's a fair system because everyone is given the same education.
Just like the education system we have now is fair and equal across the country. 
Kitty is a very bright girl, but her score didn't reflect her intelligence level because of her dyslexia. Rather than be carted off to the coal mines (Ok. I'm making that up, but I can't remember what unsavory job she ended up with.) several states away from her true love, she decides to make a run for it. And by make a run for it, I mean she decides to work as a hooker until her childhood sweetheart takes his test. 
Trust me, it makes more sense in the book.
Instead of losing her virginity to the highest bidder, however, she ends up deeply embedded in a massive cover-up instigated by the most powerful man in the country. She wakes up in a strange place only to discover that she's been given an Extreme Makeover. 
Kind of like the Bionic Man. 'We can rebuild her!"
Except, unlike Lee Majors, she can't run really fast in slow-motion.
I would like to say Thank You to the two people who got that joke!

And that's where the story stops being crunchy, and starts getting twisty. It's good stuff, but I don't wanna be all spoilery. 

If you haven't been overwhelmed with these kinds of books lately, I think that Pawn will feel fresh and fun. If you (like me) have read a lot of this genre, I still think it's worth checking out. You may not be as wide-eyed and awestruck as those who haven't been over-exposed to dystopian books, but I think the plot will still hold your attention.


Aly said...

I didn't really connect with Pawn. I wanted to. I like the beginning and the end, but I thought the middle was sketch. I think its a really cool premise but I'm glad you you feel differently about it.

Aly @ My Heart Hearts Books


The middle didn't bother me, but I think I get what you're saying. Better luck on the next book you read! :)

booktravelsromance said...

I loved the first two Goddess Test and decided to follow her dystopian series. It's not my favorite genre, but sometimes a book is really good.
I read this one about a month ago and loved the plot. For me, it worked great. The story is very different.


Glad you enjoyed it! It really is pretty different from the Goddess Test series, though.

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